What has triggered clashes at the Nagaland-Assam border?

Trouble started on August 12 when miscreants from Nagaland fired on agitators outside the CRPF camp in the sector B area.

What has triggered clashes at the Nagaland-Assam border?
Located in Upper Assam, Golaghat is an industrial town. Trouble started on August 12 when miscreants from Nagaland fired on agitators outside the CRPF camp in the sector B area. The protesters were demanding release of two students suspected to have been abducted by a Naga insurgents. Following this, Naga miscreants from Nagaland attacked villages, forcing 10,000 people to shift to relief camps.

Who is the owner of the disputed land?

Created in a district in 1866, the Naga Hills was part of undivided Assam till 1957. But disputes started over territory soon after the Nagaland attained statehood in 1963. Assam and Nagaland share a total of 512.1 kms of border, which fall in Jorhat, Sivsagar, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts of Assam.

The entire stretch of border is divided into six sectors—A, B, C, D, E and F. The border in Golaghat district which has sector B had always remained the key points of disputes. Neutral forces are stationed along the contentious area since 1971. The government of India set up KVK Sundaram Commission to settle the vexed border dispute. Sundaram Commission prepared a report but Nagaland did not accept the recommendations of the Commission. Following which Assam moved SC. The border dispute between Assam and Nagaland is being mediated by the boundary commission set up under the direction of the SC.

Why has the seemingly local issue turned into major fare-up warranting intervention?

The local issue has attained big dimension as it suspected that militant outfits have taken advantage of the situation and issue politicized. There is allegation that on ceasefire militant outfit, NSCN-IM of Nagaland is involved in flare up.
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How have the local Assamese responded?

(Economic blockade, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad) There is series of protest in different places of Assam. Economic blockade against Nagaland imposed by Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) along with seven other organizations. Angry mob attacked chief minister’s convoy during his visit to Goalghat recently.

Stones were pelted on his convoy Peasant organization, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) demonstrated in front of the Assam assembly on Wednesday and called for road blockade on Thursday. All Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association has called for Assam bandh on Thursday which is supported by BJP.

What has granting of statehood to Nagaland got to do with the dispute?
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The border skirmishes between the two neighbours have resulted in Merapani incident, which resulted in the death of more than 100 people in the firing in 1984. Nagaland has not accepted the constitutional boundary and claims those disputed areas as it own.

Assam CM Tarun Gogoi stated, “We have maps and document to prove our claim that lands under the disputed area belong to Assam while Nagaland claims those on the basis of history. We refer to constitutional boundary.”
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Has the Centre taken any preventive steps so far?

Curfew is clamped in the area. PM Narendra Modi has stepped in and sought report on Assam-Nagaland situation. Union minister of Home Affairs has submitted the report. Additional forces are sent to Assam. Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up CM Gogoi to take stock of the latest law and order situation in the trouble-torn Assam-Nagaland border.

Union minister of state in MHA Kiren Rijiju will come to Assam on Thursday to review the situation. He said, “This is something which Assam and Nagaland has to resolve. Assam sought additional forces and we have sent them law and order is a state subject after all.”
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